Middle Atlantic Sports Network, a regional programmer offering MLB Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals games, among other things, has won a battle with cable operator Time/Warner, claiming carriage rights on an analog tier within the next 30 days. A similar dispute involving these parties and others is also being aired before an FCC administrative law judge.
In the present case, MLB considers eastern North Carolina to be territory of the two teams; and they share other parts of the state with the Atlanta Braves and Cincinnati Reds. TW argued that it did offer MASN a spot, just not where tey wanted it, that regardless of what MLB thinks, North Carolina is not prime territory for either team; and that its First Amendment rights were being violated – but its argements failed to carry the day.
An FCC Media Bureau order said, "TWC violated the program carriage statute and rules by discriminating against MASN on the basis of affiliation, and that such discrimination unreasonably restrained the ability of MASN to compete fairly." Hoping the matter is finally settled, MASN attorney, David Frederick, said, "Three times this matter has been litigated [twice before arbitrators], and three times the outcome has favored MASN. For the sake of the fans, we hope the third time is the charm.”